The virus pandemic will defer another coal-fired power project being jointly implemented by state-run Rural Power Company Ltd (RPCL) and Chinese NORINCO International Ltd (RNPL) with Chinese credit.
It will be the third major coal-fired power project that will see delay in construction after Pyara and Rampal power projects.“Our 1320MW coal-fired power project may be delayed for at least six months because of covid-19,” Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) chairman told the daily sun on Tuesday.
The EPC contractor of the power plant has requested to RPCL to delay the implementation of the project as force meajure due to covid-19, official sources said.
The progress of the plant has so far been 12 percent until July, 2020, suggest official data.
The plant has a February, 2023 completion scheduled for unit-1 and that of the other unit by August, 2023.
The government signed the power purchase agreement (PPA) to implement the power project with Chinese credit on February, 2019.
Despite delay in construction work, the joint venture (JV) has started resettlement of 281 affected families in Patuakhali, sources confirmed.Besides, the EPC contractor has also completed testing of boiler, turbine and generator (BTG) with test piling.
The joint venture company has a plan to implement the power with ensuring health guidelines like that of Matarbari power plant.
The Matarbari power plant authorities have arranged residential support for its workers and engineers to address the covid-19 situation. So, none of workers or engineers will leave the site without the permission of the concerned authorities, official sources said.
The RPCL and NORINCO International Ltd JV will also follow the same restriction for quick implementation of the project despite the delay of six month, sources said.
“The progress of the Rampal power plant is sluggish due to coronavirus. It may delay the 1,320MW power project,” Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) Chairman Engineer Md Belayet Hossain said earlier.
Despite that the unit-1 of the 1320MW Rampal will come into operation by June, 2021 and unit-2 by December, 2021, he disclosed to the Daily Sun.
Earlier, deadline of the unit-1 was February, 2021 and for unit-2 it was August next year.
In the last review meeting on coal projects, the Power Division requested National Thermal Power Company Ltd, India to take necessary steps for bringing back the Indian experts.
On the other hand, the unit-2 of the Pyara power plant, already in operation, has also delayed due to covid-19 pandemic.